Minecrafting 122: a lot of science

Minecraft Mojang

It’s halloween in Minecraft, which this year means three things. The first is that mobs are spawning with pumpkins on their heads.The second is that witches are everywhere. And the last is that everyone is making amazing Minecraft-themed halloween costumes. Oh, and this guy made a pumpkin out of pumpkins, which is pretty neat.

The other bit of excitement this week is the start of Minecon. At the time of writing, the annual festival of all things Minecraft hasn’t yet begun, but everything’s ready to go. It’s way too late to buy tickets now, but if you’re heading to Florida for it then have a wonderful time – we’re all very envious here.

Other than the halloween costumes, most of what’s popped up in the community this week is either people getting excited about new biomes or about the amplified map generation functions. If you’ve ever craved the opportunity to fall from ridiculous heights, then you’ll definitely want to check out an amplified map. You’ll need something of a beefy computer to do it though.

We’ve also seen a lot of science being done in Minecraft, and we’re not talking about the qCraft mod. Doominabox1 has been exploring the Farlands and performing some experiments to see what behaves weirdly. Sand, cauldrons and hoppers, minecarts, redstone, pistons and paintings all do slightly creepy, weird things when they’re far from home.

FelineAstrophysicist has been looking at the behaviour of the sun and the moon in Minecraft to ascertain how well they follow the laws of physics in the real world. The analysis is well worth reading, but long story short: their behaviour is entirely plausible but would require a Minecraft year to be 16 days long. Also, it’s not out of the question that the Minecraft Earth is orbiting a star that is orbiting a black hole. Woah.

Then the geologists of /r/Minecraft weighed into a question asked by Honeybadger919: “Is there any reason to dig for resources from y=20 to y=55?” The consensus answer appears to be no, unless you particularly like exploring caverns and ravines, or have a modpack that adds more ores higher up in the world. The best level to mine at, it seems, is 11/12.

Two more quick bits. The first is our discovery (maybe you knew it all along) that exploring caves in Minecraft with a motion-sensing Oculus Rift headset is in equal parts awesome and terrifying. The second is this in-progress recreation of The Stanley Parable in Minecraft, complete with the narrator in a resource pack. Brilliant.

We’ll leave it at that. If you’ve seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it by dropping me an email. I’ll be back with another roundup this time next week.